Music

Program Overview

The Music Program at the Fine Arts Center nurtures the total musician through professional preparation in performance, theoretical, and historical studies. Each student is given individual attention in a small class setting to fully realize their potential and grow their skills as a musician. Students are introduced to a wide variety of musical styles and are encouraged to collaborate with other students in the department and the community to foster their artistic growth. The Fine Arts Center is known for its world class instruction in Jazz and Contemporary Music Studies, Strings Chamber Music, Voice, Winds, Brass, Percussion, Recording Arts, Music Theory, and Music History. In addition, the Fine Arts Center welcomes guest artists from around the U.S. to perform, coach, and speak to the students. The high level music education received at the Fine Arts Center is invaluable. Students are sent off into the world with a better understanding of who they are as an individual, a deeper understanding of what it means to collaborate, the discipline that is necessary for high achievement, and ultimately what it means to be a creative and compassionate person. Whether preparing for a profession in music or simply wishing to be the best musician possible, the Fine Arts Center provides the student with the tools necessary for success.

Jazz Studies & Contemporary Music

We offer Jazz Studies in Jazz Guitar, Jazz Piano, Keyboards, Jazz Bass, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Strings, Jazz Vibraphone, Drums and Vocals.

Jazz Theory 1 (9:15 AM): The study of harmony, melody and rhythm as it relates to modern jazz from 1944 through the present. Scales, Modes, Triads, 7th Chords, Non/Modal Scales, Reading Syncopated Jazz Rhythms are covered.

Jazz Performance 1 (10:10AM): The application of the information from Jazz Theory 1 is the content of this course. Blues, Level 1,2 Jazz Standards are used as material for implementing Scales, Modes, Triads, 7th Chords, Non/Modal Scales in jazz improvisation.

Jazz Combo 2 Honors (1:30PM): You must take Jazz Theory1 and Jazz Performance 1 to be admitted to this class. The combos consist of 4 or 5 musicians working on Level 2 and 3 Jazz Standards. Learning to play the melody, chords and improvise on 2 songs per quarter is required. The class consists 3 to 4 combos working in small rooms alone and working with the instructor in the large classroom. 

Jazz Combo 3,4 Honors (2:25PM): The 3 combos in this class study advanced modern jazz including fusion and jazz rock, contemporary jazz vocals and neo soul. The Fine Arts Center Jazz Quintet is selected from this class. They represent the school by playing engagements and concerts around the region. The students in this class are also selected to perform 3 concerts per year at The Peace Center for the Performing Arts in addition to 3 concerts at The Fine Arts Center.

Jazz Studies & Contemporary Music Website

Recording Arts

Recording Arts involves students recording their scheduled personal projects, setting up recording and mixing live concerts for each Music Department and/or recording remote events. We have a small PA system which we use for live concerts which gives some limited experience with live sound mixing for students interested in that area. That system also doubles as an interface for recording up to 18 channels of audio to Protools 10.

Recording Arts Website

Strings Chamber Music

The Fine Arts Center offers a unique approach to string education in the United States. A daily chamber music class is offered to develop individual technical proficiency, rehearsal technique, performance, communication, advanced musicianship, and musical decision-making skills. Students perform several formal public concerts at the school and in the community, and participate in guest master classes. An advanced technical regimen, solo and chamber music of professional caliber comprise the musical literature of the course. Students participate in a variety of chamber ensembles performing works ranging from the Baroque era to premieres by contemporary composers.

Strings Chamber Music Website

Music Theory

Each applicant is given a placement test to help us decide which level of music theory will be most appropriate for their needs. Some students arrive with no knowledge of music theory, while others have had previous exposure to the material throughout their musical training. We are well equipped to accommodate students of all levels in this subject.

Music Theory Website

Voice

Each student is given one-on-one vocal training in a master class setting. Students will study vocal technique, singer's diction in English, Italian, French, and German, as well as a wide range of musical repertoire spanning classical and musical theater genres. In addition, students will train as "singing actors" which will incorporate acting techniques that will help them become communicative, versatile, and creative vocal artists. Music Theory is a required elective for the vocalists in the program. Music Theory education is essential to becoming a strong musician. Students receive college level training that will prepare them for higher education. Several exciting performance opportunities will be available to the voice students such as recitals, regional competitions, fully staged scenes programs, and master classes with guest artists from around the country.

Voice Website

Woodwinds | Brass | Percussions

The goal of Fine Arts Center Wind & Brass Chamber Music (W&BCM) is to increase students’ astuteness, facility and creativity as musicians. Responding to the page of written music as well as to his or her colleagues, each musician will be able to:

  • portray more fully and accurately the objective elements of musical notation, including pitch, rhythm, dynamics and articulations; and beyond this, elements of tuning (both as an individual and among others in a group)
  • portray the implied elements of musical performance by learning about the structures, histories, and traditions of phrasing and musical interpretation
  • tap into and use students’ emotional and creative inspirations as a part of music making

To meet these goals and to explore the experience of music making, students study, practice, and perform solo, small ensemble, and large ensemble music arranged and/or composed expressly for Fine Arts Center Winds & Brass Chamber Music. Qualities that will be developed in this course of study will include: Originality, independent thinking, creative problem solving, clear communication, and openness to the ideas of others.

FAC Percussion is designed to craft “total musicians” by developing students’ broadly applicable technical and musical foundation in percussion through extensive study of solo and ensemble playing. Students will refine the skills needed to perform competently in band, orchestra, and popular/commercial music settings on the primary percussion instruments—snare drum, drum set, mallet percussion, and timpani—as well as on classical accessory instruments (tambourine, triangle, etc.), and world percussion instruments (hand drums, Afro-Cuban instruments, etc.). Percussion Advanced is designed to be more project-oriented, and the instruction will be more individually tailored than the more classroom-oriented Percussion Intermediate course.

Woodwinds | Brass | Percussion Website